Gabriel Savage is a Canadian music producer, songwriter and singer best known for his 2015 release ‘Rain’, which landed him in the ‘Best of Bands 2015’ ranking by Vancouver, British Columbia based Arts & Entertainment magazine The Georgia Straight. His 2013 single ‘Close Your Eyes’ was remixed Pablo Manzarek (son of The Doors’ co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek) and released on the Noah’s Star compilation album Rays of Light in 2017. A few months back Savage also dropped his follow-up single, entitled “One Night”.
On first listening I was knocked back by this Pop/EDM crossover track. There’s just something about the emotion and tone in Gabriel Savage voice that proves to be the perfect contrast against his subtly euphoric production. Though this is obviously an electronic dance track, the difference between this and the usual summer anthems is noticeable almost immediately, starting off with some deep singing accompanied by bass notes that carry a similar tone.
As the track progresses, it is clear that the higher pitched, cheerful notes heard in almost every other successful melodic house track in the past has not been completely thrown out of the window. It’s just that Savage doses his music pretty well. He is all about lean meaty riffs and sounds, with no excess fatty effects, that only serve to complicate the main melody and synth lines.
The vocals, performed by himself, is a fairly rare occurrence in the genre, adding extra fuel to his fiery talents. Gabriel Savage’s moodily understated voice, singing at such a relaxed pace blends in flawlessly with the regular beat, giving the track an airy aura.
One thing is certain; Savage manages to push the boundaries of genre without ruffling feathers because he himself does not believe in musical nametags, hence his compositions don’t suffer from that “trying to sound like someone or something else” syndrome. He sounds just like someone doing his own electronic thing, and we can call it whatever we like. He just calls it ‘music’!
Of course we could liken his sound and style to a number of other excellent EDM producers and artists, just so we can feel comfortable in our little boxes, but then we could use that same criteria with just about any artist walking the face of the earth.
At the end of the day though, we as are always faced with the final dilemma; “Does the music give us what we were looking for in the first place?” And that answer always overrides any genre you have stuck in your head before pressing play.
I came to the table with Gabriel Savage, more or less expecting the general sound “One Night” delivered. However, it’s the emotion and poignant elegance inside the musical arrangement and the vocal performance that surprised me, and which puts him among the upper echelons alongside his more famous colleagues and peers.